Autism Testimonials

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.... the one thing stu and I could not do alone. At this time I began to think about  movie I had seen years ago. I so loved the story and wondered why aren't there any therapists who are outdoors with these kids? Why can't my kid just lay on a horse or explore a farm? Why aren't we outside playing and talking and building life experiences that are joyful and help encourage more interactions like that? Why are therapists in big scary city buildings with about a million and one things along the way that are triggers for most sensory sensitive kids? One night exhausted from my online search I thought whatever I'm just gonna watch horse boy again and relax. I googled the movie and up popped horse boy method. I nearly fell out of my seat. What's this? A parent of autism having created a place of healing and joyful interaction and exploration for children on the spectrum? And even more so proven methods to help with speech that have nothing to do with putting my child through some trumatic exercise? I watched a few you tubes and was sold. This is it I thought. I reached out by email and when I received the reply it included a packet that asked first and foremost what are Indys interests? We want to create a space based on his favorite things. I couldn't help but smile. These people understood, these people cared first and foremost about Indy not "treating autism". We decided to book several play dates and set about getting a rental home in Texas for a month.
I am sitting here in that rental home now, we have three play dates a week at Ruperts families ranch. The experience has been everything I hoped it would be. Vanda, the lead therapist on Indys team has been amazing. She is so gentle, loving and playful in her approach with Indy and with all of us as a family. On our first day Indy painted Clue's (Indys horsey friend) belly and mommy and daddy too! We laughed and played and explored and in the two hours we were there Indy never once asked us to leave, something he normally always does when strangers are around and in close proximity.


Now when we hop out of the car Indy runs out to wave and greet Vanda. He loves to throw dirt at Emily his other buddy and he even casts the odd smile here and there to Jordy and Alex. These are the first people ever to become a part of Indys inner circle and life. He loves them for respecting him as a person, for learning his language and for Taking the time to join him in his world. If you are wondering if Indy now speaks a lot the answer is no he doesn't. What he does now do is happily take Emily's hand during a walk in the woods or trust Vanda to swing him over a muddy puddle. He has ridden a horse and pet a bunny and is for the first time trusting and interacting with many other people rather than just me and his dad. His world has grown. He has been babbling and giggling even more at home and he laughs out loud when we mention Vanda's name in conversations. These wonderful people are a part of Indys tribe now.To me this is all a million times more important than coughing out actual words. Indy is discovering the joys of social interaction and I have no doubt that in time this will play a key component in his language skills.


I hope anyone whose life has been touched by autism takes the time to visit and learn about the incredible work going on at the horse boy method ranch.

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I just wanted to say thank you so much to Miriam and you guys for letting us take part in the play-date at the beginning of the week. Miriam was absolutely fantastic with Eddie and he had a wonderful time learning about concepts in physics without even realizing it - in fact whilst having a lot of fun!  I've not seen him so relaxed in a long while and considering he was exhausted as it was the end of a long school term then it could have quite easily been a very different story. he was thrilled to be the only child there (along with his sister) and he even asked if Miriam could come back and play at our house when he got in the car :-) The environment you'd created and the materials you'd made were really exciting and they captured his interest straight away . Miriam was extremely kind, flexible and patient with him and he responded really well to everything she said and did. she was enthusiastic about everything that he came up with and i loved that she just went with the flow of what was happening instead of trying to control him - i think it was a far more effective way of teaching him. he felt safe and secure and that his ideas mattered.  i have since read more on the Movement Method and i would love to incorporate what i have learned so far into what i do when i start working at Eddies school again in September. 
 
i wish Miriam the very best in her studies and hope to see her again sometime in the future working with children she was fantastic
 
Marion xxx

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We feel very privileged to be part of such a wonderful opportunity for Violet.   A huge thank you to you and Miriam for another wonderful science play date today. Violet loved it and Miriam had created so many wonderful opportunities for learning, we covered so much! I have also been inspired to try more practical and hands on ideas at home.  Violet will miss Miriam! She spent the whole journey home saying she wished Miriam didn't have to go back to Germany and asking when we'll see her again! They formed a really lovely connection.

It couldn't have come at a better time for us, after such a depressing time with school, it has been wonderful for her to see that learning can be fun :) we look forward to seeing you all again soon xx

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I wanted to mention that I appreciated you offering the parent/teacher training class last Saturday. I think the biggest takeaway for me was at the heart of the Horse Boy Foundation, which is to provide an environment without pressure. I read about this in your parent handbook and saw your volunteers incorporating this practice during the horse boy play dates, but I think it helped to hear more about the background behind this practice, more examples, and the benefits your organization has witnessed. I think this has already helped me internalize the practice more completely during Sunday's play date and during play and various teaching moments throughout the last few days. By removing the pressure (and certain expectations) from the interactions, I feel certain pressures within myself were relinquished. The results have been very positive. 

 

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We had a wonderful experience at your camp. Thank you for your hospitality and generosity. It is truly lovely thing, and I think it’s been a very long time since we could relax and know Max was in safe hands besides at school. He has been noticeably calmer this week. The more I think about it, the less intimidated I am about finding a way to share the experience with other autistic families. So at some point in Spring 2015 I’d like to take the webinar class. I know most of the info is on the site and I need to create an account so I’ll delve further before I start with the questions :) You have a wonderful group of staff/volunteers! Talk to you soon.

Thanks,
Amy

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hi Jenny, HNY! I wanted to tech out to talk with you about Ashley & I doing a 2.0 version of Horse Boy Summer school at Square Peg. I'm meeting with Ashleyon Sundayto discuss it. Last year was a huge success for Axel and we'd like to dive deeper into the program and even expand it include a few more kids and possibly an additional teacher. Would you be interested in supporting/ advising us? Last year was a bit tough for me, I'm going through a divorce, so I couldn't put all I wanted into it - but I'm hoping this year will be better!

I'd love to come out to TX with Ashley and Axel and do another camp & get some training. Let me know your thoughts.
 
Also, I'm hoping Joell might do some workshops for parents. I know that personally I have a lot of PTS, as do my friends - I love the work you guys are doing to help the care takers. Just GOING to Square Peg every week has been a lifesaver for me - no joke, it's my church. :)
 
Look forward to hearing from you. Let me know if we could book a trip this Spring, cheers, Anne
 
-Axel's mom

The Long Ride Home

The long awaited sequel of the Horse Boy.

 

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